As restrained as Lanthimos, Piotr Adamski's western debut follows the horror of the law of retribution: an eye for an eye. Horror and corruption in the rituals of conflict-ridden Polish families require that their daughters represent them and face the fear and distrust behind the traditional code.
An old conflict between the Nowak and Kowalski families is a matter of medieval custom. In a corrupt Polish housing estate, murder is a notary practice and young girls are introduced to the legal gun culture. The daughters decide to change the ruthless rules and break the cycle of violence and terror to withstand family pressures and the overwhelming ritual of vengeance.
Restricted emotions and the game the girls play to survive reveal an aesthetic vision of the hunter's instinct. The subtle yet profound performances by Paulina Krzyżańska and Maja Pankiewicz play together in a powerful way.
This gripping Polish film is an unusual dystopian western directed by Piotr Adamski. The conceptual and enigmatic riddle reveals the basic social conditions in an alternate reality that make up a bittersweet revenge film.
Joanna Palmer BA Film and Film Studies, London College of Communication
Eastern will be streamed on November 5th and 7th.
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